My brother lives on the west coast and got married there in the fall; but he and my new sister-in-law decided to have a reception out here in the east this spring so that those who couldn’t make the trek would still be able to celebrate with them. As soon as plans were in the works I offered to make a cake. They gave me free reign on the design, so I set to brainstorming and thought that a mountain would be a good representation for them.
At first I wanted to make a cake that was solely a mountain. When I started to think about the logistics of different cake pan sizes and stacking them all up, and then how to cut a cake that high, I decided to brainstorm a bit more. I settled on a slab cake that I could build a small mountain upon at one corner.
I used one of my favourite cake recipes, a chocolate stout cake. I made three small oval cakes to stack for the mountains, then a regular rectangle pan for the slab. I frosted between the mountain layers, and then used a small knife to sculpt the shape of the mountains. And once it was set up on the corner of the cake the rest of the icing was pretty straightforward: grey mountains with white snowy peaks (coarse sugar to make the snow sparkle), a small river flowing down from the mountains, and green grass perfect for a picnic.
Then came the more tedious part. I had a bit of sugar paste left from a previous project, so I used that for the blanket because I wanted a classic red and white checkered picnic blanket. I wove the red and white strips together and flattened it with a rolling pin to get it nice and even. The rest of the decorations were molded out of marzipan. I tried a new technique for the trees, by shaping a cone, then using scissors to gradually snip down the entire shape. I was very happy with how they turned out.
The cake was a big hit at the reception, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to add to the celebration in that way! If you’re interested in the cake recipe you can find it by clicking here. (I used a standard butter cream for the frosting, not the one listed with the cake recipe.)